Oklahoma law is designed to hold at-fault drivers responsible when they cause harm. For the most part, this system works. However, when a person gets behind the wheel without any car insurance or simply doesn’t carry enough insurance, then it leaves everyone exposed to serious risk of injury.
At the Cain Law Office, our Oklahoma City uninsured accident attorneys help injured people recover after serious crashes caused by negligence. If you’ve been hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver, that does not mean you are necessarily out of luck for recovering the compensation you need to heal. The Cain Law Office can help you explore coverage through your own uninsured (UI) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance.
Call or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal rights.
Uninsured vs. Underinsured Motorists
There are two separate and distinct concepts in the law when it comes to motorists without adequate insurance:
- On one hand, a truly uninsured motorist is someone who either carries no coverage at all or had insurance but let it lapse.
- On the other hand, an underinsured motorist is someone who likely carries the state minimum coverage, but the injuries far exceed the amount of money available to compensate victims.
Both are unfortunately very common scenarios, so having a good uninsured and underinsured motorist policy is important. Without this type of coverage, you could be left uncompensated in the event of a serious accident.
Remember that although you can certainly sue a negligent driver for hurting you, if that person is impoverished or has no assets, you could be left with a judgment you can never collect.
Understanding UM/UIM Coverage in Oklahoma
Let’s take a look at both types of insurance coverage and how they work:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Say an uninsured motorist causes a wreck and you are injured. You will need to notify your own insurance company right away. When it comes to uninsured motorist insurance, it is a matter of contract law. If your insurance policy requires you to notify your insurance company of an accident within 30 days, failure to do so could potentially waive your rights. Therefore, if at all possible, let your insurance company know right away.
You do not need to go into specifics or give a recorded statement. Instead, you can hire a knowledgeable uninsured accident attorney to handle it. If you and the insurance company cannot agree on the proper amount of compensation, then you may need to file for arbitration, rather than filing a lawsuit. Arbitration, which leads to a binding decision by a panel of arbitrators, is often mandated as part of your policy agreement. Arbitrators are often experienced attorneys or retired judges who are paid to hear the evidence and render an opinion.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
On the other hand, imagine the at-fault driver had a small insurance policy, say $25,000, and your injuries exceeded $50,000. Normally this would mean you could be left seriously underpaid for your injuries. However, if you wisely carried a large insurance policy with UIM coverage, then your UIM coverage in Oklahoma will help to pick up the difference.
But beware, there are a lot of technical rules that apply, such as anti-stacking provisions and offsets. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you navigate this type of complex claim for compensation.
Compensation After an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver
An uninsured motorist accident can leave you feeling angry, frustrated, or even hopeless. It can feel like the other driver is “getting away” with something if you use your own insurance. It’s important to remember that while this may be the way it feels, the truth is, your health and financial well-being are the most important focus. Plus, uninsured drivers who injure people are usually required to pay very large insurance premiums on state-mandated coverage, just in order to keep their licenses.
Pursuing compensation requires you to negotiate with the insurance company in order to get the best offer possible. Most of the time, when insurance companies learn that skilled uninsured accident lawyers are handling your case, they will work to fairly and reasonably resolve your claim to avoid arbitration and further expense. However, there are times when you may need to demand arbitration in order to be compensated.
Our dedicated uninsured accident attorneys in Oklahoma City can explain the process to you and prepare you for what to expect as your claim moves forward.
Insurance Companies May Offer Less Than You Deserve for UM/UIM Claims
It may seem a bit illogical to think that your own insurance company would undercompensate you when someone else causes your injuries. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses that measure their odds to reduce costs. They will try to get you to take a lower offer with the hopes that you will need money quickly and will not put up a fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our law firm will demand the full coverage that you pay for, even when the other driver failed to follow the law by not carrying insurance.
What to Do if You’ve Been Hurt by an Uninsured Motorist
If you are involved in a wreck with an uninsured or underinsured driver, first speak to a lawyer. You’ll want to speak with someone who can help you assess all of your legal options, so that you are not left with expensive medical bills and lost income.
Your attorney can review your policy and identify what coverage applies to your situation. Your lawyer can also help you make sure that your insurance company is put on notice within the time provided in your policy.
If your insurance company won’t pay, an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney from the Cain Law Office can advocate for you through the complex claims process.
Contact Our Oklahoma City Uninsured Accident Attorneys Now
At the Cain Law Office, we have spent decades carefully refining our craft. We understand the nuances in Oklahoma insurance law, and we put our experience to work for you.
If you were hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver, give us a call to schedule a free consultation with one of our Oklahoma City UM/UIM car accident lawyers today. We only get paid if we can recover money for you, so you have nothing to lose. Call now.